Liquor shops in Delhi may down the shutters from September 1 as the NDMC on Wednesday turned down the AAP government’s proposal to open five state-run liquor vends under its jurisdiction, civic body functionaries said.
There were no government liquor vends in Delhi after the new excise policy was implemented in November 2021. Also, following the government’s decision to scrap the policy, all private liquor outlets will shut down by August 31 and only state-run liquor vends will operate in the city.
However, a proposal by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) to now open liquor stores at four locations in NDMC areas has been rejected.
Only four state-owned agencies will be allowed to operate retail liquor business in the city from September 1. These agencies are DSIIDC, DTTDC, DCCWS (Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Store) and DSCSC (Department of Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation).
These agencies will open 500 liquor shops and the number will go up to 700 by the end of this year.
New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) member and BJP leader Kuljeet Singh Chahal said DSIIDC and DTTDC have sought permission to open five liquor shops in the civic body’s jurisdiction.
“According to their proposal, one shop each was to be opened in Palika Parking, Yashwant Place, Janpath and two vends in Palika Bazar. After discussion, we have denied the permission for opening liquor shops in our jurisdiction,” Chahal told PTI.
The permission was denied because of ambiguity surrounding the excise policy in the national capital, he added.
Civic functionaries said it is most likely that there will be no liquor shops in the NDMC area from September 1, even as they indicated that the four government agencies may come up with another proposal later.
Only 16 shops were operating in the NDMC and Delhi Cantonment areas till July 18, 2022, data from the excise department showed.
Currently, areas like Khan Market and Connaught Place have swanky private liquor outlets.
Many licensees in Delhi have surrendered their licenses after the excise policy 2021-22 encountered rough weather when Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI probe into it.
According to the Delhi government’s new excise policy, the NDMC and Delhi Cantonment areas have been put together under zone 31 while 29 liquor vends were permitted for this zone.
Last month, the Delhi government decided to revert to the old excise policy that was prevailing before the implementation of the new policy and said that only government vends will be operational.
The excise department of the Delhi government had till August 18 issued 300 retail liquor licenses and started registration of various alcohol brands, as the four government corporations are scheduled to run 500 vends across the city from September 1.
The decision came in the wake Saxena recommending a CBI probe into alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses in its implementation.
On August 19, the CBI raided 31 locations, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s residence, in connection with the case.
The CBI has filed an FIR against 15 individuals and entities, including Sisodia, over alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the excise policy.
(With PTI inputs)
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